It’s kind of surreal to me to have six months today. There are ways in which it feels like I have been sober longer than that, and other ways in which I realized how a half of a year (actually more ) is an accomplishment that seemed nearly undoable one year ago.
For those of you that are trying to take a break and then return to drinking, I highly suggest giving up that idea. I don’t really know anyone who’s at the point where they felt they had to take breaks who doesn’t have a serious problem with alcohol. The good thing is that what sounds like giving up something is actually a means of gaining something much greater. Addiction is a ball and chain. Deciding that I didn’t want alcohol in my life anymore was the most freeing decision I ever made, and allowed me to finally find some real recovery.
For those of you to whom AA seems like it’s not for you, or too frightening, or cult-ish or anything like that…just check it out. Nobody is going to make you stay there, and you don’t have much to lose from it. Give up justifying why you feel like you know what it is when you’ve never checked it out. I avoided AA for a verrrry long time in my sober stints, only to find that it was nothing like what I thought it would be, and that my contempt before investigation was only hurting myself. I have made really true friends there, and my eyes have been opened to a different way of life. I have realized how I can live a sober life in which I don’t even want to be drinking. This absolutely might have happened to me without AA, but that’s not my story. AA has changed my perspective and allowed me to be part of a fellowship that teaches me what real connection with others is. I’m not trying to sell you on it, though it probably sounds like it, I’m just trying to get people to let go of their resentment toward it before they’ve even given it a chance. That was me, and swallowing my pride and checking it out made my life better. For those of you that tried it, and it is not for you, I would never try to tell you what works for you. I have many other tools in my recovery toolbox, I do not think AA is the only way at all. There are many things that do not work for me that do for other people. Mad respect to anyone staying sober and any way they are doing it .
What else has changed?
Well, I’ve lost 20 lb. I’ve also lost about 20 lb. of emotional baggage as I work through some stuff from the past and began to live in a way that makes me feel good when I lay my head down at night. Doing good things feels excellent, and giving up old rotten behaviors is not always instantly gratifying, but always leads to a deeper peace.
I also find that I have so so much more energy! I’m not always running around trying control everything, and that acceptance translates to energy saved. It also saves me from distraught, despairing thoughts when things don’t go my way. It also saves me from my way, which is often not the best way.
I notice a huge difference in my clarity of mind. I feel bright and intelligent instead of scraping together my papers at the last minute, and trying to find ways to manipulate the system to get good grades.
My dog is much happier. We walk every day now, consistently, without fail, for at least an hour. That is what he deserves and it’s a shame that I wasn’t always giving him that. He’s 11 years old and hopefully his last couple years will be his very best ones.
My communication has improved immensely. Things aren’t perfect… At all. In fact, my partner and I have hit a bit of a rough patch. This has been kind of a hard week with a lot of doubts and insecurities. The difference is that I have tools. Instead of running to drink which will undoubtedly make the situation worse, I face the problems and try to understand them.
My work ethic has improved, and I don’t find the customers that I wait on so unpleasant anymore…even the truuuly unpleasant ones haha.
Generally things are just much more manageable, joyful, and peaceful. I have been able to reconnect with the source, the thing, Gaia, nature, the universe, God, my higher power, goddess, WHATEVER it is, I finally feel connected to IT again.
My life is pretty good these days, and when it’s not good I just handle it instead of digging a hole deeper and deeper and deeper like I used to. I guess I feel proud, but mostly I feel grateful. Grateful that my life had led me here- to a place where I have lots of support, lots of resources, a brain and body that work well, an infinite pool of potential, and a chance to grow better every day. Thank you for being here for me when I needed you Sober Talk.
Photo from yesterday’s rainy dog walk